How did clubs benefit from the costly purchases made in January?



According to an article in the Athletic William Saliba has signed a new contract which will run until 2027.  The online magazine reports it as being at a cost to the club of £10 million a year.   Apparently it comes with no release clause – which we are told is a feature of all the contracts being offered by Arsenal to players these days.  It is widely felt that Saliba’s injury at the end of last season was directly related to the decline in Arsenal’s form which saw just two wins in eight games.

What this means is that five key players have now signed new contracts this summer: Saka, Gabriel, Martinelli, Ramsdale and now Saliba.

It is also possible that this summer, for up and coming young players, Arsenal will seek to use once again the long loan spells that saw Saliba reach his full ability before he came into the side.   

Meanwhile Steve Round who joined at the end of 2019 as assistant coach has left Arsenal, with two years left on his contract.   In a sense this is not an unusual move for him as he has previously worked with four other Premier League teams and the England team and seems to like a life of shuffling around hither and thither.

Sky Sports are expressing the view that both Pepe and Balogun will be leaving along with Sambi-Lokonga, Tavares and Soares. while Marquinhos is expected to go out on loan.  Reiss Nelson is said to have signed a new contract.

Matt Smith has gone to Wigan on a free transfer, and Catalin Cirjan has gone on loan to FC Rapid of Roumania.

Also in the news and according to the Mirror, Arsenal remain interested in Southampton midfielder Lavia but are not alone in chasing him, although further deals are almost certainly likely to depend on outgoings.

So just how much are those who are left worth?  Of course different writers suggest different prices but for consistency we have taken the prices from the same source: Transfermarkt.

At the top is of course Saka on €120.00m, followed by Martin Ødegaard at €90.00m.  In third place comes Martinelli at €80m, followed by Gabriel Jesus at €75m.   Saliba is now put on €65m although I would suspect that if he returns to the form we saw before his injury last season this will rise very quickly.

Havertz is considered worth €55m as are Ben White and Gabriel Magalhães.  Zinchenko comes in at €42 and Ramsdale at €40m.

The problem is of course that all these fees are approximate since clubs never announce the exact details of any transfer just as they don’t announce any details of their players contracts, other than the length of time that the contract runs for.

But as ever we need to remember that just spending money doesn’t actually mean success.  As another way of looking at that we went back to the amount of money spent in January, and where it got the clubs.


Club Money spent in January Position on 1 January 2023 Where they ended up Change
Leeds United £130m 14 19 -5
Manchester City £134.4m 2 1 +1
Wolverhampton Wanderers £158.2m 19 13 +6
Tottenham Hotspur £158.9m 5 8t -3
Nottingham Forest £164.6m 18 16 +2
Newcastle United £165.5m 3 4 -1
Arsenal £171.8m 1 2 -1
West Ham United £173.3n 17 14 +3
Manchester United £217.3m 4 3 +1
Chelsea £546.1m 8 12 -4

Thus the best deals seem to have been done by Wolverhampton Wanderers who went up six places, followed by West Ham United who went up three.

But half of the top spenders last January actually went DOWN the table following their purchases which is yet another reminder to all of us that buying players is not always a good use of money.  Yes Wolverhampton having spent £158m went up six places, and that must make them jolly happy and maybe will stop their supporters trying to argue that it is only Wolverhampton who are hard done by referees.

But how secure is the job of the manager and transfer guru at Tottenham, Chelsea and Leeds United after spending vast sums in order to go down the table.  In Chelsea’s case each £136m spent in January took them one place further down the table.

Of course it could be argued that all that investment was for the future and the club will now benefit from those purchases.  Yes, maybe, but on the other hand what we might find is that the clubs will instead find some players don’t settle and managerial changes will result in half of them not being wanted.

It is after all, known to be a funny old game.


3 Replies to “How did clubs benefit from the costly purchases made in January?”

  1. As you will know, Transfermarkt list all premiership players by value and also show what they cost. Having looked at the 20 most valuable players I noted that we have four of them as you mention, who between them have a total value of 365m euros whilst Chelsea, who have spent so much more money than anyone else, only have one, Enzo Fernandez who is valued at 80m. What is more interesting to me, however, is how much money was shelled out by the two teams and what value has been added by the good management/development of the players/team.

    The answer is to that question is that Chelsea paid 121m for their player valued at 80m. Meanwhile, Arsenal’s 365m of players actually cost less considerably less than Enzo! Arsenal paid just 94.3m for those four players.

    Now I know contract length and age has a lot to do with values and yes, Saka cost nothing, and perhaps nobody could see how brilliant he would become and we also only paid 7.1m for Martinelli which turned out “ok” too. But just looking at recent signings Odegaard and Jesus who cost 35m and 52.2m and are now valued at 90m and 75m. (But pundits, fans and newspapers think they know better who we “need”!!)

    Despite what a minority of fans moan about, there clearly is a lot of brilliant work going on at Arsenal, off the pitch as well as on it.

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